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More Foreign Visitors Able to Clear Immigration Through Automated Lanes

            Under the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA)’s Automated Clearance Initiative (ACI), eligible foreign visitors, including those visiting Singapore for the first time, can use automated lanes for immigration clearance without the need for prior enrolment.[1] Since May 2022, ICA has expanded the deployment of the ACI to 130 automated lanes at Changi Airport and 40 automated lanes at the land checkpoints. ACI eligibility has been extended to the passport holders of 51 jurisdictions, up from 16 when the ACI was first rolled out in May 2022. Holders of the APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) can now also use the automated lanes under ACI.

2.          To date, more than four million foreign visitors have cleared immigration through the ACI, and been enrolled in the process.

Seamless Enrolment Process under the ACI

3.          Under the ACI, eligible arriving foreign visitors are directed to the automated lanes for immigration clearance.

a) Their biometrics (iris, facial and fingerprint images) are automatically enrolled during the arrival clearance process (if not already enrolled during a previous trip to Singapore).

b) Information on their enrolment is included in the electronic visit pass (e-Pass) which is emailed to them after immigration clearance.

c) Enrolled foreign visitors will then be able to use any automated lane during departure and on subsequent visits to Singapore.

Making Automated Immigration Clearance the Norm

4.          ACI is a critical component of ICA’s New Clearance Concept (NCC), which aims to make automated immigration clearance the norm at the checkpoints. Automated immigration lanes leverage multi-modal biometric scanning technology to provide travellers with a more secure, efficient, and seamless immigration clearance experience. By the first quarter of 2024, ICA expects 95% of all arrivals at Changi Airport to be cleared through the automated lanes.

5.          As automated lanes take up less physical space and require less manpower than manual counters, ICA would be able to increase its clearance throughput and meet the growing traveller volume, which is expected to reach 300 million travellers per year by 2025. Correspondingly, the job roles of ICA officers will be enhanced, as ICA moves away from manual clearance. As part of the NCC training, ICA officers are being upskilled to perform profiling, assessment, and investigative work, beyond immigration counter duties.

6.          Deputy Director of Operations Division, Assistant Commissioner of ICA, Phua Chiew Hua said: “Prior to the ACI, most foreign visitors would have to queue at the manual counters upon arrival for immigration clearance. With the ACI, those eligible can now proceed directly to the automated lanes for immigration clearance, even if it is their first time visiting Singapore. This will allow us to onboard more travellers for the use of our automated lanes as we move towards having automated clearance as the norm. We have made the enrolment process as seamless as possible, so that travellers can perform self-enrolment at the automated lanes while clearing immigration. If required, our officers deployed at the automated lanes will assist them.” 

25 APRIL 2023


[1] The eligibility criteria for foreign visitors can be found on ICA's website.